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Bargaining Update: October 13, 2014

Bargaining Update

October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014 - Bargaining Update

GEA Team: Linda Pierce (Bargaining Chair), Fran Zumwalt GEA President), Bryan Ross, Doug Coffin, James Messina, Jay Tweet, Angela Sciacqua-Smith, Laura Bowen (CTA)

District Team: Steve Sonnich (Assoc Supt, HR), Tim Schwuchow, John Rajcic, Robin Ballarin

GEA met with district representatives from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

1. Benefits

  • GEA and the district went over the minor changes in wording to the Aetna plans.

2. EL Coordinator

  • The district brought historical information on EL stipends and release periods.
  • GEA asked about current numbers of EL students per site.

3. IC Teacher Coaches

  • The district is looking at changes to the support system for Infinite Campus, will have an idea what the plan is on Oct 21.

4. Substitutes

  • Many teachers were asked to cover classes on their prep period on Friday, September 26.
  • Some teachers were paid to cover classes before having covered three classes without pay as set forth in the contract, and payroll refused to honor the time sheets.
  • The district will look into this and rectify the situation.

5. Counselors

  • The district still needs to look into the issue of paying counselors for packing and unpacking.
  • There will be clerical support to check the transcripts in Infinite Campus.
  • Counselor Ratios were discussed and the 500/1 maximum student/counselor ratio.


President's Message: Election Update

Hello GEA Members,

It has come to the GEA Leadership’s attention that a campaign has been activated to challenge GEA’s endorsed candidates for the Grossmont School Board -- to prevent their election/re-election.

A lawsuit has been filed by Pro-Alpine High School candidates for the Grossmont Board – which if it works - calls for all Prop U and H bond projects to stop, whether completed or not. The lawsuit expects that a High School will be built in Alpine with the funds saved.

This lawsuit was timed to impact the election for the Grossmont District School Board just as it gets underway. The election for our Grossmont Board will be held on November 4, 2014, as you well know.

You can help our candidates in the following ways:

    1. Sign up for phone banking with your GEA Reps on your campus.  If everyone phone banks for 2 hours, we will reach close to 60,000 voters, and that could make the difference on the election. When people are asked whom to they listen to for advice on school board elections, 70 percent say they listen to teachers. We have three weeks left for phone banking – Sign up, please!
    2. Make a sign or stand next to a sign for Gary Woods and Rob Shield – take a selfie with the sign, and post it on the GEA.Action Facebook page. Then like it and share it on your Facebook page.  In the Comment section – say “I support Gary Woods and Rob Shield for the Grossmont School Board.” Or “Please vote for Gary Woods and Rob Shield for the Grossmont School Board! – I am!”
    3. Call your family and friends who live in the Grossmont District, and ask them to vote for Gray Woods and Rob Shield.

Please the following GEA members who have already phone banked for Gary Woods and Rob Shield! Tell them you appreciate their work on your behalf.


Branden Namimatsu
Jim McLaughlin
Brad Sheffer
Ryan Trammell
Jessica Merschtina
Luke Fitztgerald
Teresa Wilkerson
Elizabeth De Mars
Linda Riddle
Ellen Parry
Vicki St. John

El Capitan:

Jivan Rhodehamel
Jesse Huttenbrauck
Judy Jacobs-McKee
Eloise Tronto
Jivan Rhodehamel
Jay Tweet
Kelly Logan
Karl Franz
Dustin Millsap
Jay Tweet
Jesse Huttenbrauck
Stephanie Grabiel


Lisa Drake
Lynn Kraszewski
Melinda Parga
Xeng Yang
Rachel McCurry
Serita Collet
Angela Scott
Gerald Lopez
James Messina
Fran Zumwalt


Mercedes Joyce
Anna Jacobs
Daemein Patterson
Gwenne Pagarigan
Coleen Topper
Holly Jones
Carmelina Pantoja
Heidi Schultz
Karen Manns
Hillary Park
Brian Manns
Jennifer Raymond

Monte Vista:

Brittany Wood
Tracy Leota

Mount Miguel:

Robert Raymond
James McFarland
Chris Nelson
Christine Whitney
Mark Jeffers
Nathan Samuels
Luis Castro
Mick McMurray


Cleophus Harris
Michelle Winslow
Rebecca Short
Amber Erpelding
Carolyn Teschler
Jennifer Phelan
Karri Thompson
Angela Sciacqua-Smith
Marla West
Jason Kay
Emily Snipes


Harun Hutchinson
Diana Aguayo
Laura Izbicki
Jackie Naah
Marilee Gillen
Lynne Barnes
Veronica Romero

At the end of each week of phone banking – GEA selects names from a hat for a THANK YOU FOR PHONE BANKING raffle – for two members per week who receive two movie tickets, and for one member per week who receives a Brigantine $50 Gift card.

Here are our THANK YOU recipients so far:

Ryan Trammell – ECVHS – 2 Movie Tickets
Linda Riddle – ECVHS – $50 Brigantine Gift Card
Jay Tweet – ECHS –2 Movie Tickets
Serita Collet – GHHS – 2 Movie Tickets
Gerald Lopez – GHHS – 2 Movie Tickets
Gwynn Pagarigan – Grossmont -- $50 Brigantine Gift Card
Mark Jeffers – MMHS – $50 Brigantine Gift Card
Carolyn Teschler – Santana – 2 Movie Tickets
Harun Hutchinson – Valhalla – 2 Movie Tickets


Fran Zumwalt
GEA President

Bargaining Update: October 8, 2014


Bargaining Update

October 8, 2014


GEA Team: Linda Pierce (Bargaining Chair), Fran Zumwalt (GEA President), Bryan Ross, Doug Coffin, James Messina, Jay Tweet, Angela Sciacqua-Smith

District Team: Steve Sonnich (Assoc Supt, HR), Tim Schwuchow, John Rajcic, Robin Ballerin, Rick Roberts

GEA met with district representatives from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

1. Class Size
    • GEA discussed classes above the cap with the district.
    • The district asked for exceptions for an auto class at GHS, weight training classes with a second supervisor, and a couple of others.

2. Infinite Campus
    • GEA shared many of the issues that counselors and teachers are having with Infinite Campus, and asked what issues the district is working on and in what priority.

3. Benefits
    • The district claims to have no money to add to benefits due to a lack of layoffs last year and increased energy costs.

4. 6/5ths
    • The district provided a list of the teachers receiving 6/5ths.

5. GATE/AP Coordinators
    • The district provided information on the compensation for GATE/AP Coordinators. GEA was supposed to get information on EL coordinators too, but that information was not available. These stipends are not in the contract and should be.

6. Counselors
    • Valhalla currently has 502.857 students/counselor. GEA argued that this is a violation of the contract, the district responded that the 500 number in the contract refers to a district-wide average. GEA stated the contract established a district wide average of 455 students and a maximum of 500. The district's position contradicts the contract language. GEA will grieve this.
    • The district is still looking into the issue of paying counselors for packing and unpacking.



President's Message

GEA's Endorsed Candidates' Election Update

More than 100 GEA members have made thousands of phone calls encouraging voters to elect GARY WOODS and ROB SHIELD to the Grossmont School Board!

Over the next 21 days, even more GEA volunteers will do the same. Ask your GEA School Site Rep how you can help with phone calls in support of GARY WOODS and ROB SHIELD!

Also – Use your social media to help! Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Get some GEA members together, create a sign showing your support for Gary Woods and Rob Shield and snap a quick picture. Then post it on GEA's Facebook page:
  • You can also share the message by posting your snap shot on your facebook cover image
  • Share the GEA Action Facebook page by posting it on your Facebook timeline.

Sample Facebook posts:

I stand with GEA members in support of the election of Gary Woods and Rob Shield to the Grossmont School Board.

GEA has my support in electing Gary Woods and Rob Shield to the Grossmont School Board. It impacts students, educators, and parents alike.

Join me and my colleagues in the Grossmont District. Elect Gary Woods and Rob Shield to the Grossmont District School Board!

In solidarity,

Fran Zumwalt
GEA President

Bargaining Update: September 26, 2014


Bargaining Update

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September 26, 2014 - Bargaining Update

GEA Team: Linda Pierce (Bargaining Chair), Fran Zumwalt (President), James Messina (V.P.), Jay Tweet (Treasurer), Bryan Ross, Doug Coffin, Laura Bowen (CTA)

District Team: Steve Sonnich (Assoc Supt, HR), Tim Schwuchow, John Rajcic, Robin Ballerin, Theresa Kemper

GEA met with district representatives from 9:30 AM to 1 PM.

1. Health Benefits

  • The district proposed that they pick up 80% of the increase in Kaiser for Employee & Spouse, Employee & Children and Employee & Family.
  • GEA proposed that the district pick up a higher percentage of the increase.

2. Alternative Education

  • The district is looking for new online and blended-learning options for the students leaving our district for online charter schools.

3. Computer Tech Coaches

  • GEA asked for compensation for the Infinite Campus tech coaches.
  • The district will look into this issue.

4. Enrollment

  • The district revised enrollment is 17,639 (142 below projections and 484 fewer than last year).

5. CEIS Job Description

  • GEA asked for a job description for CEIS.
  • The district does not want to provide a job description because this position is viewed as a "super advocate."

6. Special Education Vans

  • The district brought a proposed letter on teachers driving vans.

7. GATE/EL Coordinator Stipends

  • GEA proposed that GATE and EL Coordinators have their stipends bargained and added to the contract.
  • The district will gather information on the current stipends being paid.

8. Autism MOU

  • Contract language was changed to read that the district would reimburse "the cost of the county program," instead of a specific dollar amount.

9. Counselors

  • GEA requested numbers on enrollment and counselor loads to make sure the district is following the agreement.

GEA inquired about the issue of district transcript problems and when this issue might be solved and how it might be solved with the least amount of work for counselors.

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Grievance Settlement

This past summer, three grievances were filed on behalf of GEA Members. The three grievances were resolved with the following agreements:

    1. The GEA members who taught summer school in 2014 will be paid a 3.5% salary increase for working from July 1, 2014 through July 14, 2014. The Grossmont District had in the past not provided salary improvements for summer pay until the summer following a salary settlement. That was part of our old contract language. The new summer school language that members ratified in June 2014 did not include any salary delay. GEA argued that all employees receive their salary increase starting July 1 - and GEA members should be treated no differently. The District agreed to this change. The district verified that a retro payment will be made for the salary adjustment for those who taught 2014 summer school on their October pay warrant.
    2. Valhalla teachers worked for one additional hour beyond their standard work week (beyond their restructured schedule) during CA State mandated testing in the 2013-14 school year. The District agreed to pay Valhalla teachers their per diem rate for one additional hour. GEA has asked the district to verify that a retro payment will be made for one additional hour for Valhalla teachers at their hourly rate in the October pay warrant.
    3. In the 2013-14 school year, GEA members were asked to teach during their prep hours for their colleagues who were attending professional development. GEA learned that frequently 25 to 50 teachers did not have substitute coverage, and there were not enough substitutes to cover their school business absence. No records were kept of the many hours of coverage teachers provided. The district took advantage of contract language that said the district did not have to pay teachers who covered classes during their prep period for "unanticipated" absences. GEA pointed out that professional growth absences - ARE ANTICIPATED - and do not qualify as "UNANTICIPATED." Therefore teachers cannot be asked to cover for their colleagues during their prep periods for professional development absences. The district agreed to the following:
        1. A centralized calendar will be created so that multiple professional development events are not scheduled on the same day, creating a substitute shortage.
        2. The district will recruit more substitutes. The district recognizes that due to a shortage of substitutes, surrounding districts are offering high rates of pay to substitutes when they are running professional growth training (San Diego City pays $144 per day). The district agrees that it must plan for the cost of substitutes when offering professional growth to employees, as other districts have.
        3. There will be a rotation for GEA members who are asked to substitute during their prep periods for their colleagues for unanticipated absences. The same GEA members should not be asked to give up their prep period a second time before all others have been asked to cover once.
        4. If there is a shortage of substitutes on a day when professional growth events are scheduled, and a teacher does not have a substitute - that teacher will return to their regular assignment.

No more than 40 students per class:
GEA is working with the district to reduce the number of classes that are over the cap of 40 students.

Counselor ratios:
GEA asked that the district provide enrollment numbers by school site to review counselor/student ratios.

November election:
GEA provided lunch to members during a GEA lunch meeting at all district school sites over the past two weeks. If you missed those meetings, be sure to ask your GEA Rep for important information on the November election, and how it could impact Grossmont District students and employees in future years. Be sure to share GEA's recommendations for the November elections with colleagues, friends, neighbors and family members. Information is available at

Grants / Class Size / Contract / GEA Lunch meetings

Hello GEA Members,

Welcome to the new school year!

This message contains information on:

1. A Stipend opportunity - Common Core Curriculum - Instructional Leaders needed - CTA/Stanford Grant to Support Common Core Curriculum Units

2. GEA Monitoring of class size with the Grossmont District

3. GEA Contract

4. Watch for an invite to a GEA lunch meeting (lunch provided) at your site soon.


1. CTA/Stanford Grant to Support Common Core Curriculum Units -- Teacher "Instructional" Leaders are needed to help implement the Common Core Standards throughout the state of California. You can submit names as a team. The team can include administrators. A stipend is included.

The deadline is September 17!!! See the attached application - for the project description of a grant that CTA, the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE), and the National Board Resource Center (NBRC) received to create an Instructional Leadership Corps (ILC) of accomplished classroom teachers, site leaders, administrators and higher education professionals. The ILC will provide expertise for the instructional shifts needed to implement the CCSS in ELA and Mathematics, and the NGSS; support the design and implementation of school-based professional learning around instructional practice; and create and lead regional professional development. Teachers chosen to participate in the ILC will receive a stipend of $2,000 for the first year. The online applications is located at:

Please contact Marlene Fong, IPD Consultant for Region 2, at:<> if you have any questions.

2. GEA will be meeting with the district after the second week of school to make sure that all classes with over 40 students have been balanced to no more than 40. It is a contract violation to have more than 40 students in all classes except PE and performing arts, and it is not safe or fair to our students to have more than 40 students in a room.

3. The new GEA contract will be posted soon on

4. GEA lunch meetings are planned for September -- Lunch will be provided -- Watch your emails for more information.


Fran Zumwalt
GEA President

Supreme Court Ruling regarding Union Dues and Fair Share (for non-union members)

Hello GEA Members,

A very important Supreme Court ruling was issued on Monday, June 30, 2014. The case was called Harris v. Quinn and it had to do with union dues.

Briefly - the Supreme Court upheld an earlier case called the 1977 Abood case, which set up the requirement that a union – as the exclusive bargaining agent – had to represent all employees, both union and non-union members. In return for being the exclusive agent for all employees, the union could have union dues and fair share fees (agency fees paid by non union members) deducted from employee paychecks. This fee structure insured that the costs of bargaining contracts and providing other representation services would be fairly paid for by all who benefited.

As GEA President, I am very proud that the Grossmont Education Association has a very high percentage of union members. Of our 880 member bargaining unit, 94 percent are GEA members. That shows that GEA members stand together, unified to support each other with contract negotiations and work place relations and conditions.

In Harris v Quinn, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in support of eight health care workers who did not want to join a union that would have represented their interests a the bargaining table. Their case was funded by an anti-union organization.

Some of you may have worked in a job that had no union. Unions represent the interests of all members to insure fair and equal treatment in the work place. Often people working the same job in a non-union environment earn less in salary and have worse work conditions than those who benefit from union representation and membership. One can argue that unions help protect the middle class.

There are some very wealthy people who have funded court cases to challenge union dues and fair share fees collections. You can read about one such group who supported bringing Harris v Quinn to the Supreme Court, and how CTA fought to defend your interests and your union in this case, in the articles following this message.

Watch your emails and the Website for updates during the summer.

Fran Zumwalt
GEA President

Here follow two informative articles: